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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 03-30-2013, 01:44 PM Thread Starter
Algae Grower
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high nitrites

I just set up a 55 gallon planted tank and I planted it and let the filter run for a few days, and even though I knew it wasn't cycled yet, I got some neon tetras, thinking I could control ammonia spikes in that size tank with only 6 fish since I had once cycled a 5gallon tank with a betta in it. Anyway, I should have tested the water before I got the neons, but I didn't. Then I tested the water about 18 hours later and the ammonia was about 1.0 ppm and the nitrites were about 5ppm (the highest on the color key that I have). So I did a 25% water change (which is a pain in the butt in a 55 gallon tank, walking back and forth with buckets. >.< ) But it didn't seem to help at all. I went to Petco because I had some other things to get and I saw this bacteria colony stuff that says it instantly cycles you tank. I was a little suspicious but I decided to try it anyway. Well, when I tested the water this morning, ammonia was 0!! But nitrates haven't gone down much at all. How do I lower the nitrites? is there any way other than water changes? I know that obviously my tank isn't cycled but I feel better knowing there's no ammonia. I just have to lower this pesky nitrite level.
Thanks for any help!
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 03-30-2013, 02:08 PM
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high nitrites

If it were me......

I would get some floaters right away along with horn-wart. I also have a few large tanks and you can cycle in a few days with a seeded filter and a ton of plants....as many as you can fit.
I do my scape first and then plant all the extra plants.

azolla, red root, salvania, water lettuce and yes..... even duck weed ( but it,s hard to get rid of later). I am sure I forgot a few.

Neons are not the best to put in a tank that has not been cycled. You will do better in my opinion to use plattys as they seem to tolerate the conditions.

hope this helps and I look forward to other replies.

oh btw.... you need to siphon your water
into the toilet or out the window. I live in Southern California and I refill from either the sink or a hose bib. I add water treatment before adding the water and I usually turn off the filter when doing so so my good bacteria is not diminished. I do this to avoid a mini cycle, as I do 50% water change three weeks in a row before doing one water change that may be as much ad 75% to avoid build up of nutrients as I do a modified version of the Estimative Index, that Tom. Barr came up with a few years ago

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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 03-30-2013, 02:20 PM Thread Starter
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Hi, Thanks for the info. I was planning on getting some floaters today so I'm glad to hear that will help.
I'm curious about why you said to siphon the water down the toilet or outside. what about the sink? I have a 10 gallon tank on my kitchen counter and I siphon that one out into the sink when I do water changes.
For the 55 gallon, in my living room, I've been siphoning it into a big bucket and dumping it outside. I guess I could get a really long hose to attach to my siphon and just siphon it out the window... hmmmm. I was thinking of getting one of those Python things to help with water changes, though. but they're kind of expensive.
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 03-30-2013, 02:43 PM
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high nitrites

Hi OrangeAugust, buying a water changer for the 65g in my living has been one of my best investments! I use the bucket method on my 5, 10 and 20, but it was an absolute drag at the larger size. Once you have it, performing larger or more frequent water changes will be a breeze. I found an Aqueon brand with a 15' hose for around $30.
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